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Who’s afraid of the (jobs) Terminator? Not Indians

Ananya Bhattacharya
Employees of a private call centre hired by India's main opposition Congress party make calls to party workers in Jaipur

Technology may be stealing their jobs away but Indians are not frazzled.

Over half of Indians think a robot could do most or all of their job, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) opinion poll released today (Oct. 04). This is the highest share in the world by a mile.

More than 10,000 respondents from 29 countries participated in the survey.

Although Indian respondents acknowledge that jobs may be jeopardised, they believe that a growing economy will continue to foster other opportunities.

In high spirits about the change, more than two-thirds of Indians said finding new employment would be “somewhat” or “extremely” easy.

“The rise of advanced technologies has the potential to create economic and social value, and bolster India’s goal of maintaining its growth momentum,” said Sriram Gutta, head of community development in India and South Asia at WEF. “These statistics indicate the foundation is there for accelerating the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The next step is to ensure the governance of them assists India in leapfrogging to an advanced stage of development while maintaining high levels of trust.”

It’s all good

What’s more, India’s optimism stretches beyond the office.

“Indian respondents exhibit greater trust in climate scientists and international organisations than people in other regions,” WEF said in its press release. They are also some of the least sceptical in the world about the motives of technology companies: more than two-thirds reject the idea that technology companies “only want to make money,” the Switzerland-based not-for-profit organisation noted.

Overall, Indians (55%) were only second to sub-Saharan Africans (61%) in thinking that technology made life “much better” across all realms from personal relationships to society to jobs, WEF’s poll results show.

 

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